Taj James is the co-founder, former Executive Director, and current board member of Movement Strategy Center. As part of MSC’s Transitions incubator, Taj recently founded Full Spectrum Capital Partners, housed in the Innovation Center.
Together with Kristen Zimmerman and Lisa Ross, Taj launched MSC in 2001, putting forth the question “How do we weave together the strands of the progressive community into a progressive movement capable of winning lasting policy and social change?” Since 2001, Taj and MSC have served as a consistent source of social change innovation and leadership.
At MSC, Taj helped launch and support new alliances such as Strong Families and the Climate Justice Alignment. Taj has also played a key role in building new funding collaboratives and strategies to increase investment in grassroots organizing and alliance building. These initiatives include California Fund for Youth Organizing, Move to End Violence Initiative, California Alliance for Boys and Men of Color, and Building Healthy Communities.
Before launching MSC, Taj served as the Director of Youth Policy and Development at Coleman Advocates for Children and Youth, where he organized youth and community members around issues facing children, youth and families. Taj’s network and leadership building experience began in his role as the Western Regional Field Organizer for the Black Student Leadership Network (BSLN), a project of the Children’s Defense Fund.
Taj served on the steering committee for the PAC to defeat Proposition 21, a California ballot initiative that would spend billions to incarcerate thousands of youth with adults. Taj has provided board leadership for many non-profits and philanthropic institutions such The Praxis Project, Youth United For Community Action, the Funders’ Collaborative on Youth Organizing and the California Fund for Youth Organizing.
Taj has written extensively on the topics of movement building, organizational change, and on the role of young people in social change.
A graduate of Stanford University, Taj was a recipient of a Next Generation Leadership fellowship from the Rockefeller Foundation and was named a “Local Hero” by the San Francisco Bay Guardian.
Photo: Xiomara Castro